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Insights on Tech Product Creation and Entrepreneurship

21 July 2014 reading time ~2min

Warning: Lean Startup Canvas may derail your tech venture

Warning: Lean Startup Canvas may derail your tech venture

One of the first things I do when thinking about new projects, or even existing business models, is mapping it out on the lean startup canvas. I am a big sucker for the lean canvas, it captures more on one page than most business plans in over thirty pages. That said, I am getting increasingly frustrated with it. The Lean Canvas, as an evolution of the Business Model Canvas, clearly comes from a business perspective and a certain profit-driven mindset. But, when you talk about tech startups, community-driven, or inherently open and social ventures, the Lean Canvas doesn’t only fall short in describing it, it is outright harmful. Similar to the saying “bad information is worse than no information at all”, the Lean Canvas could give you false confidence by putting you and your idea into a certain structure. Yet this structure is not necessarily suitable for your endeavour and could actually drive you off your path.

27 May 2014 reading time ~3min

Is business against open?

Is businesses generally set up against an open culture?

Is business against open?

A few weeks ago I wrote about the many ways Google is screwing the open (source) community all the time and it left me pondering. I’ve talked a lot about business models, the startup scene and the technology-driven disruptive ecosystem in this blog over the past years. I always liked the entrepreneurial attitude of getting things done instead of accepting the status quo. But I came to realise that especially if they are backed with investors money, also great startups turn into profit oriented corporations – exactly what they fought against in their early days. Not only in a few cases they also turn against the open culture they originated from. Leaving me with the question: is business – in general – against open?

22 April 2014 reading time ~4min

Stop it, OpenSource! Google ain't gonna care about you ever.

Google screwed OpenSource once again, we should stop bouncing back

Stop it, OpenSource! Google ain't gonna care about you ever.

Dear OpenSource,

we have to talk. We have to talk about your relationship with Google. Google screws you over and over, still you keep coming back to it. Don’t you understand Google only wants you for your developers, market share and code? Google really doesn’t care about you. It couldn’t care less. It just takes and takes and then, whenever it reaches enough power, it drops you like a hot potato. Every. Time. It does that. But just one “Summer of code” and you are back in bed with it. And continue to believe that it cares about it. But it doesn’t. It really doesn’t.

When and how, you ask? Fair enough. Let’s take a look about the most recent ways G decided to screw you over.

14 April 2014 reading time ~1min

The hype is over. Long live the hype.

The hype is over. Long live the hype.

I recently published my projections for this year as being rather boring than interesting for the Berlin startup scene. Looking at these numbers it is pretty obvious, the startup hype in Berlin was just exactly that: a hype. But does that mean the hype is over? Yes! And no! On one side because investors, as well as mass media will continue with reciting the tale of Soundcloud and Wunderkinder. Even though, tech-wise, the scene will consolidate even further, Berlin has by far the best chances to become the startup center Europe has been craving for for so long.

27 March 2014 reading time ~3min

The epidemic of the brilliant asshole

We are glorifying the wrong heros for the future that is to come

The epidemic of the brilliant asshole

As any other techie, I was highly excited when supposedly geeky and nerdy characters became popular hero figures in TV series and movies. Until then the predominantly image was of the Steve-Urkel-kind: smart but clumsy, a little helpless in social situations – something to laugh about. With new series like The Big Bang Theory, Sherlock and the American pendant Elementary but also, to some degree, House M.D. featuring brilliant (almost always male) main characters this has changed. I always felt a certain discomfort with them, though, I just couldn’t really put my finger on it until a conversation about workplace communication I had with a friend recently.

12 March 2014 reading time ~2min

Berlin's future? Same old same old.

Berlin's future? Same old same old.

Looking back over the last two years of Berlin’s finest startups, leaves you wonder, what the years 2014 and 2015 will hold for the scene. The last two years have not been good. Though a few events shared more light from Europe and all over the World to the city with the hype of Berlin being the next Silicon Valley still going strong, but the reality looks very different. Reality suggests that there will be more companies doing more boring things instead of honest technology driven entrepreneurship. And no end in sight.

24 February 2014 reading time ~4min

WhatsApp exodus: An irrational consequence of the NSA Scandal

WhatsApp exodus: An irrational consequence of the NSA Scandal

With the story breaking that WhatsApp will be bought by Facebook a few days ago, a global search for a secure and trustworthy messaging app begone. We’ve seen these attempted exodus before from startups, just think of Instagram or Dropbox ever time they change their terms of service. And as every time, there is the counter reaction of telling people, that WhatsApp hasn’t been secure in the first place. And therefore it was totally irrational to quit it now because Facebook acquired it. It hasn’t gotten any more evil than it used to be already. And though people say it is, I suspect it not being the actual reason. But that this is a a long over due (first, big) reaction to the NSA scandals. And we’ll see more of those.

30 December 2013 reading time ~2min

How do you learn to code?

learning to code is a hard and lonely activity – but it doesn't have to be that way

How do you learn to code?

The recent marketing efforts of campaigns and code.org have been fruitful without question: people took part in the the hour of code, codeweek.eu and coding days. Though you can question the authority of some of the fore-speakers on that subject, more awareness arose. But is that really the problem - people not being interested in that subject? Is the missing interest really the reason why so few continue to learn to code? For the sake of argument, let’s assume a kid took a peak into it at one-hour-of-code and now wants to learn it, for real. How? What offers can she take?

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About

Hi, I'm Ben.

I create Tech Products.

I'm a self-taught software developer and product manager. Aside from creating tech products and companies, I advise and support others on their way from technology to product.

On this blog I am publishing my thoughts about tech-products, methods, and entrepreneurship in general.

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